Those looking for high quality old-school punk rock with positive and Christ-centered lyrics have enjoyed enjoyed bands found by Thumper Punk Records since the beginning of the label. The reach of Thumper Punk has recently expanded into the international punk rock community with The Old-Timers (South Africa), Metanoia (Chile), and now Living Fire (Brazil).
Living Fire began in 2005 as an evangelistic project with Luis Medeiros as the only fixed member in the line-up, who said the project was started, “just for fun”. After time Luis “wanted to record the album because at the beginning of my conversion I had no knowledge of any Punk/Hardcore Christian bands, and that “even with my accent, the songs would have such an impact.” Fast forward to 2011 and Luis was joined by the Murillo Henrique Xavier and Wesley Farina Chumiski on guitar and by Michel Oliviera on drums. Recording started in July 2011 with Oliveira also producing and by January 2012, Living Fire signed up with Saved Records and worked through Pimentas Do Reino Shop for digital distribution. Living Fire signed with Thumper Punk in July 2012 who has made physical and digital copies available (bandcamp and iTunes).
The goal of Living Fire is to bring God’s word to places where it would not normally be heard, and a simple glance at the album and song titles should make that evidently clear. Regardless of your beliefs, if you are a fan of old-school melodic punk rock, you should give Living Fire a chance. The album kicks off with the anthemic track Jesus is not Dead, which immediately brings up visions of circle pits and pile-ons. From a sound perspective, Living Fire has much in common with some of the older southern California punk bands and in particular one can pick out similarities to older Social Distortion, Bad Religion, and NOFX. That being said, Living Fire has found their own sound and for instance, make good use of trading riffs between the two guitarists, which is something not very common in punk rock. The vocals are in English and as you might imagine, having English vocals done by a singer who doesn’t have English as a first language can present some challenges, especially in very fast punk rock songs. Madeiros does an excellent job and while the accent is obvious, it doesn’t detract from the songs and if anything lends an air of authenticity and adds to the punk rock feel.
Production quality is very high and a good fit for this style of music. Often, recordings of punk bands tend to sound either too polished or too rough, but this recording is very close to keeping the grittiness found in punk rock without going too rough. My only quibble is that I’d like to hear the drums and low end be a bit more prominent in the mix, but this is really a minor issue and does not detract from the listening experience.
From a song perspective, there are a couple songs where Living Fire seem to be departing from their harder sound and almost veering into the realm of pop-punk and those songs, while solid on their own, just don’t seem to fit with the rest of songs on the album. One of these is the cover song One Way (Hillsong United), which as you might imagine given the original artist, would be a tough challenge for any punk band to cover. Thankfully though, even the songs leaning toward pop-punk are solid enough to not have to skip over while listening. Living Fire is a great addition to the ThumperPunk Records family.
1. Jesus Is Not Dead
2. Come With Us
3. Love Of Jesus
4. Jesus Christ Is The Only One Who Can Save Us
5. Old Rugged Cross
7. He Will Come Again
9. One Way
10. The Glory Of The Lord
11. Redemption Of His Love
12. Bouncing Around
13. I Want You Lord
14. Adore The Lord
Luis Medeiros: Bass/Vocals
Murillo Henrique Xavier: Guitar
Wesley Farin Chimiski: Guitar
Michel Oliveira: Drums
Record Label: ThumperPunk Records, 2012